Supplementary Material for: A Simple Method for Removal of the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Cell Wall Using a Commercially Available Subtilisin (Alcalase)

The algal cell wall is a potent barrier for delivery of transgenes for genetic engineering. Conventional methods developed for higher plant systems are often unable to penetrate or remove algal cell walls owing to their unique physical and chemical properties. Therefore, we developed a simple transformation method for Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using commercially available enzymes. Out of 7 enzymes screened for cell wall disruption, a commercial form of subtilisin (Alcalase) was the most effective at a low concentration (0.3 Anson units/mL). The efficiency was comparable to that of gamete lytic enzyme, a protease commonly used for the genetic transformation of C. reinhardtii. The transformation efficiency of our noninvasive method was similar to that of previous methods using autolysin as a cell wall-degrading enzyme in conjunction with glass bead transformation. Subtilisin showed approximately 35% sequence identity with sporangin, a hatching enzyme of C. reinhardtii, and shared conserved active domains, which may explain the effective cell wall degradation. Our trans­formation method using commercial subtilisin is more reliable and time saving than the conventional method using autolysin released from gametes for cell wall lysis.